Guest Post: Everything’s Amazing and No One is Happy

The following is a guest post in our GBTA Ladders Blog Series. The GBTA Ladders program is a unique mentor program designed to help develop the passion and skills of business travel professionals enabling them to help solve the major challenges facing business travel. A call for new mentors and mentees for the next round of the program closes today, so do not miss out.

GBTA Ladders Summit
GBTA Ladders Summit

Everything’s Amazing and No One is Happy
By: Team Alchemy – Doug Payne, Senior Vice President of Sales at Altour mentored this group.
Mentees: Ali Prejean, Marketing and Sales Support Specialist at Griffin Travel; Leanne Gallagher, Global Director of Business Travel Sales at Omni Hotels; Tyce Carmichael, Director of Marketing at Cornerstone Information Systems; and Tyiesha Thaxton, Sales Manager at Lansdowne Report

When we started our GBTA Ladders experience, our team decided that we wanted to identify a ‘problem’ with disruptive technology and come up with a viable solution. The product of our efforts was Alchemy Travel Technologies, which strives to help serve as the ‘hub’, via our mobile application, between providers, travelers, travel managers, and corporations. The three main advantages of our idea are information share between all parties, completely managing trips in a single application, and the amount of time and stress this can save you. We’d now like to put the focus on the last advantage.

Everything’s amazing right now and no one is happy.” – Louis C.K., American comedian, editor, writer, producer and actor

Not only did Louis C.K. make us laugh in the clip above, like only the best comedians can do, he made us think. We live in a world where we can access anything we desire through a couple taps of our fingertips.  It is almost impossible to imagine that 20 years ago, there were only 130 sites on the web, or that it has only been 8 years, less than a decade, since the iPhone transformed the way we interact with the internet.  Technology has not merely leaped, technology has surged.

We are now able to connect to everyone and everything – so much so that we now forget to exist in real time.  We have forgotten what it is like to simply be still.  Instead emails, web browsing and social media consume our down time.  Rather than pondering on information, we continue to absorb more, no matter how worthless the content.  We are on an information overload.

Technology is meant to simplify processes, allowing us as users to gain back a few moments of our time.  We also like to think it was meant to enhance your real life experience, not replace it.

Here’s a thought – why not try using the time we save from these innovations to engage thoughtfully with the world around us?

Take this short article for example – Mr. Maupin, a healthcare executive at Alvarez & Marsal, muses on his career path and how it might look different had he not taken the opportunity to talk to his seatmate on a flight home 30 years ago.  With all due respect to Mr. Maupin, his narrative takes place before a time when the thought of an hour without internet access sends most of us into apoplectic shock. We now tend to see the crowns of our fellow humans’ bowed heads far more frequently than their eyes. However, his point is still a valid one.

Have you missed out on an opportunity or a solution because you couldn’t put away your devices for 30 minutes? Do you remember a time when you took the time to just talk to someone and something amazing came from it?

So our challenge to our readers is to find the happy medium. Technology is great and can certainly be helpful. We are NOT suggesting we go back to the days of rotary phones or the pony express, but at what point does technology lose the utility of enabling us and start to disable other essential parts of truly living?

So are you up to the challenge? You can start by trying some of the ‘Bored and Brilliant’ series. We’d love to hear your feedback on some of the exercises.